‘Naruto’ has first appeared in the form of manga, and with time the TV-series was created which popularized the story so that now people all over the world like following the adventures of the mysterious yellow-haired boy and even play computer games about him.
The action of the story takes place in a totally imaginary world, the entire continent with different countries and fancy characters. Naruto is the main character of the story – a lonely loner who bears inside himself a fox demon. His father sacrificed his own life so that to lock the demon forever in the body of his newborn son and wanted all people to consider Naruto a hero. However, despite the fact that Naruto is the only one who can hold the power of the demon inside himself, people have always been scared of him and thought that he himself was this demon.
It is worth mentioning that the ancient Japanese religion (shintoism, or Shinto) is based upon the cult of many gods and spirits, and the Japanese believed that these spirits can be found anywhere. However, in shintoism there was no division of these spirits upon the ‘good’ ones and the ‘evil’ ones: the spirits could become angry if people did not behave nicely towards them, but if you performed all ceremonies and followed all cults, the spirits had always been benevolent and kind. In other words, there was no ‘absolute good’ or ‘absolute evil’ in the Japanese culture – and actually it is pretty much the same now.
Fox is a very traditional animal for the Japanese traditional tales, along with racoon dogs (tanuki). In these tales the animals confront or interact with people – unlike European tales featuring animals interacting with each other.
The action of the story developed as Naruto was growing up. He studied in the local ninja school together with other boys. However his tricks were driving his teachers crazy. Practically every day he was doing something the whole village was talking about. Naruto did not know that once he was the fox demon — the same that the old ladies are telling the scary and dark tales about. Time passed, and he got to know about it, when his teacher put his own life on stake to save him. We may follow Naruto’s life while he changes from a good-for-nothing boy with a weird sense of humour into a real warrior, finds true friends and enemies, his love, and the mentor who will teach him how to manage the power of the demon who is inside of him. Naruto eventually achieves his dream and becomes The Hokage – just like his father. And all this happens in very funny situations that Naruto gets himself into, so all stories about him have an exciting plot, elaborate humour and lots of different characters that are so interesting to observe. The success of the series is not accidental – it is one of the best in its genre.
We have already mentioned computer games about Naruto. Well, there are lots of them – all of different kinds. There are few of them, however, which are based more or less upon the plot of the manga and series itself – there are, for instance, those where you need to select outfits for the characters (the dress up games), as well as jigsaws, image tiles and ‘Naruto Kissing’! So you can judge how popular this character is.